asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya
Lead me from the ignorance to truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.
In Hindu philosophies (and also Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and many other ), the self is regarded as immutable, unborn, un-manifest and non-discriminatory. Hence, the true nature of self never changes. In death and rebirth, the body changes, the self remains unchanged. The ignorance mentioned above is the ignorance about the true nature of self. All the suffering arises from this ignorance. Hence, one should know his/her true nature to attain a state of eternal bliss. Self is not to be understood but to be known and experienced. This can only be achieved through meditation. When one meditates, he gradually loses awareness of the world outside and then his body. Once one has lost awareness of his body he is in his mind. But mind is not self, mind is a bundle of thoughts, perceptions and suggestions. Slowly in meditation as one rejects thoughts and keeps focus on what he is meditating, the thoughts disappear and then one is in ‘alone’. In this state one realizes the true nature of self.